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Author Topic: Somalia-Should it become a Battlehonour?!
the patriot
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posted 13 June 2021 17:13     Profile for the patriot   Author's Homepage   Email the patriot     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Hello All,

In one of my postings on the "Old War Diary", I mentioned that the Korean Conflict and the Somalia intervention were under the same UN Security Council Article. With this in mind, would it not make sense that all Canadian regiments that participated in the Somalia intervention be awarded a proper battlehonour?! The units as a whole should not suffer for the mistakes of three people.


Posts: 179 | From: The Great White North | Registered: Jun 2000
bossi
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posted 13 June 2021 17:42     Profile for bossi   Author's Homepage   Email bossi     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
At first glance, it seems logical ...
(but unfortunately, they've already disbanded one of the units ...)

Posts: 213 | From: Toronto, Ontario, Canada | Registered: Jun 2000
Michael OLeary
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posted 13 June 2021 20:07     Profile for Michael OLeary   Author's Homepage   Email Michael OLeary     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
The Canadian Army Orders supplement covering Korean EWar battle honours states that the "general principles and qualifying rules for awards applicable in respect of the Second World War, as outlined in Issue No 508 dated 10 Sep 56 of Part "A" Supplement to Canadian Army Order No 33-1, will apply for Korea." It is likely that these regulations would be employed for any later conflict or consideration for battle honours as well.

Issue No 508 dated 10 Sep 56 of Part "A" Supplement to Canadian Army Order No 33-1 includes the following paragraphs:

PARTICIPATION IN OPERATIONS

12. A battle honour will not be awarded sinply because a unit was present in an operation. To qualify, the unit must:

(a) have been committed in the locality and within the time limits laid down for one of the individual operations defined below;

(b) have been actively engaged with enemy ground troops;

(c) have taken a creditable part in the operations;

(d) be proud of its part in the operation.

PERCENTAGE OF UNIT PRESENT IN AN OPERATIONS

13.


Posts: 25 | From: | Registered: Jun 2000
Michael OLeary
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posted 13 June 2021 20:07     Profile for Michael OLeary   Author's Homepage   Email Michael OLeary     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
The Canadian Army Orders supplement covering Korean EWar battle honours states that the "general principles and qualifying rules for awards applicable in respect of the Second World War, as outlined in Issue No 508 dated 10 Sep 56 of Part "A" Supplement to Canadian Army Order No 33-1, will apply for Korea." It is likely that these regulations would be employed for any later conflict or consideration for battle honours as well.

Issue No 508 dated 10 Sep 56 of Part "A" Supplement to Canadian Army Order No 33-1 includes the following paragraphs:

PARTICIPATION IN OPERATIONS

12. A battle honour will not be awarded sinply because a unit was present in an operation. To qualify, the unit must:

(a) have been committed in the locality and within the time limits laid down for one of the individual operations defined below;

(b) have been actively engaged with enemy ground troops;

(c) have taken a creditable part in the operations;

(d) be proud of its part in the operation.

PERCENTAGE OF UNIT PRESENT IN AN OPERATIONS

13.


Posts: 25 | From: | Registered: Jun 2000
Michael OLeary
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posted 13 June 2021 20:07     Profile for Michael OLeary   Author's Homepage   Email Michael OLeary     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
The Canadian Army Orders supplement covering Korean EWar battle honours states that the "general principles and qualifying rules for awards applicable in respect of the Second World War, as outlined in Issue No 508 dated 10 Sep 56 of Part "A" Supplement to Canadian Army Order No 33-1, will apply for Korea." It is likely that these regulations would be employed for any later conflict or consideration for battle honours as well.

Issue No 508 dated 10 Sep 56 of Part "A" Supplement to Canadian Army Order No 33-1 includes the following paragraphs:

PARTICIPATION IN OPERATIONS

12. A battle honour will not be awarded sinply because a unit was present in an operation. To qualify, the unit must:

(a) have been committed in the locality and within the time limits laid down for one of the individual operations defined below;

(b) have been actively engaged with enemy ground troops;

(c) have taken a creditable part in the operations;

(d) be proud of its part in the operation.

PERCENTAGE OF UNIT PRESENT IN AN OPERATIONS

13.


Posts: 25 | From: | Registered: Jun 2000
Michael OLeary
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posted 13 June 2021 20:14     Profile for Michael OLeary   Author's Homepage   Email Michael OLeary     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
(Sorry folks, that one got away on me.) Post continues.

13. Normally the rule that will be applied is that headquarters and at least ffty percent of the sub-units of a unit must have been present.

14. Two particular exceptions of this rule will be allowed for as follows:

(a) where units such as armoured regiments ... fought on a squadron ... basis ...honours may be awarded where fifty percent of the squadrons ... were engaged without the regimental ... headquarters ... ;

(b) where a regiment was represented in a theatre only by a squadron or a company operating independently ....


These conditions would have to be considered, or new ones justified to create battle honours for Somalia or other operations since Korea. As well, one would have to propose those specific Battles, Actions and Engagements which might be inclusive to the Theatre honour, each of which would have to have some credibility as a potential battle honour under the same restrictions.

Mike


Posts: 25 | From: | Registered: Jun 2000
the patriot
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posted 13 June 2021 20:20     Profile for the patriot   Author's Homepage   Email the patriot     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Hello,

Thanks Michael for the nitty gritty that we need to use to base qualifications for a Battle Honour. I knew it was probably written down somewhere. From what I recollect, the UN charter for Korea and Somalia were "EXACTLY" the same. They were both deemed police actions. And Mark, if I'm right, the feeder units for the former Airborne Regiment are still with us.
That being the RCR, PPCLI, and the VanDoos, plus any reserve units' troops that were over there at the time. From what I see, it would make total sense to award a Battle Honour. Hopefully, with time the politicos in the Regimental Associations across the country will wake up to this and take the cause to heart.

-the patriot-


Posts: 179 | From: The Great White North | Registered: Jun 2000
Gunner
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posted 13 June 2021 23:11     Profile for Gunner   Author's Homepage   Email Gunner     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
The following comments were mistakingly posted outside of this thread...my mistake. I think Mike O'Leary answered the question exceedingly well...I'll add my two cents (1 cent using US money):

You bring up a good point, however, I feel that battle honours
should be reserved for actual wartime exploits. Somalia, Bosnia,
Croatia are all examples of peace enforcement operations and
are not combat.

What about the Korean War, the Gulf War and Kosovo War? Hmm...different scenarios as Canada officially declared war to enforce UN sanctioned resolution (Korean and Gulf anyway and
it can be argued that the UN sanctioned the Kosovo Air Campaign).

I definitely think the Korean War has been neglected in the
provision of battle honours to the Regiments that served.

The Gulf War is a different matter because really, Canada did
not participate to any great extent...no offence the the CF 18
pilots.

Finally, the Kosovo Air Campaign...do we give a battle honour
to the CF18 units that were involved? Hmm...not politically
correct as it tells Canadians that we were at war. There were
no ground troops or naval ships involved. Does that constitute
a war...or was it simply a turkey shoot for CF 18s and their
bombing? Not to be unkind but the most stress the air force
went through was whether to have pizza or rigatoni for
supper...does that warrant a battle honour. No dead, no
wounded, no enemy, and everyone home by midnight to clean
sheets. I don't think so.

Ranting ends.


Posts: 96 | From: Army of the West | Registered: Jun 2000
madorosh
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posted 13 June 2021 23:19     Profile for madorosh   Author's Homepage   Email madorosh     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
So besides shooting Somalis between the skirt and the flip flops, how does the Airborne deployment to Somalia fulfil the criteria for being awarded a Battle Honour?

And to whom would you award it? Surely you jest when you suggest that the PPCLI, RCR and Van Doos, as well as every reserve unit that contributed one or two men, should be entitled? Either you're Airborne or you're Patricia - you don't get it both ways. And even if you counted an entire Commando as comprising part of the PPCLI, it still wouldn't come close to counting as 50 percent of just one of the PPCLI battalions.

Seems like a total waste of time, thought and effort to me.

As dangerous as peacekeeping is (think Medak Pocket) it is still not, in the strictest sense, active operations against enemy ground troops. Let's not cheapen the memory of our Korean War and World War Two vets just because we want to create some positive press. Why not just start awarding Victoria Crosses to Search and Rescue teams who rescue fisherman off the Grand Banks?

I can see the point you're trying to make - the UN Charter for Korea and Somalia was the same - but what you don't get is that hundreds of thousands of Chinese troops were fighting to annihilate the UN troops in Korea - I don't recall any similar situations in Somalia.

No Battle Honours were awarded in World War Two for limited patrol actions on the Arielli Front in January 1944, nor for the Nijmegen Salient between November 1944 and February 1945 - even though soldiers suffered and died there. I think the Somalia situation is much the same.

Don't get me wrong - our troops who served there suffered great hardship (IMPs for a whole tour - I can sympathize!) but it just cheapens it to compare Vimy Ridge to Belet Huen. Really.


Posts: 43 | From: Calgary, AB | Registered: Jun 2000
the patriot
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posted 14 June 2021 10:02     Profile for the patriot   Author's Homepage   Email the patriot     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Hello Again,

Granted, I agree that O'Leary put it quite well in context. As for proof of combat operations. How soon we forget the 14 POW's that were taken by the Serbs back in 1994-95. IF things were so good (for a warm fuzzy peacekeeeping tour medal), why did DND teeter on the edge of deploying the JTF to repatriate those 14 soldiers. Maybe if those troops were slaughtered, their mothers' and wives' would have received an Order of Merit or something nice and fuzzy from Adrienne Clarkson. For more info on actual skirmishes on a so-called "peacekeeping tour", look at the User Submitted Links (Dorosh) and lookup the 1 RCR webpage. Take a look at the Tank Platoon attachment, and read up
on the Canadian TOW group that had to destroy a Serb tank to help out a British section that was pinned down under heavy effective enemy fire. So once again, I am not proposing a medal for every bleeding charity event or for SAR Techs who save fishermen. Canada has been fighting World War III internationally under the guise of so-called "Peacekeeping" for the last decade. Had there been no Blue Helmets around, we'd be over there back in Europe dying right now, not typing on our keyboards.


Posts: 179 | From: The Great White North | Registered: Jun 2000
madorosh
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posted 14 June 2021 19:43     Profile for madorosh   Author's Homepage   Email madorosh     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Hey, patriot.

I'm familiar with some of the (let's call them what they are) combat actions fought by our peacekeepers overseas. I still don't see where the RCR committed two full companies plus a headquarters element. As for your other example - fourteen POWs are not even a platoon last time I checked.

If individual bravery awards deserve to be awarded, by all means let's award them. But it makes no sense to cheapen hard fought Battle Honours like the Scheldt for what are still, like it or not, "minor" actions. The Canadian Army fought on the Scheldt for over a month with three full Divisions (plus thousands of foreign troops under Canadian command) and suffered thousands of casualties. Individual regiments lost entire companies - at Walcheren Causeway alone, the Calgary Highlanders lost 64 men - out of a full "rifle" strength of 400 men.

I don't mean to take away from the tough situations our guys have faced "over there" on peacekeeping duty - and you're probably dead on when you say that if it wasn't for blue helmets, we'd be in a Third World War right now. But there are more appropriate ways to reward our troops. The peacekeeping medal (IF it ever gets issued) is one way. UN bonus pay was another. I don't see what good painting another name on regimental drums will do - especially if it isn't earned in the same way as the other names.

Sorry to drag this on - maybe I'm just not seeing your point.


Posts: 43 | From: Calgary, AB | Registered: Jun 2000
madorosh
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posted 14 June 2021 19:48     Profile for madorosh   Author's Homepage   Email madorosh     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
I'll add one more thing - I may sound cold talking about issuing the peacekeeping medal rather than awarding a battle honour, but look at the Dieppe vets.

They were steamed that a soldier who drove a Service Corps truck ended the war with the France-Germany Star, War Medal, CVSM, Defence Medal (if he served in England, as he most likely did), and War Medal. The same set of gongs that a combat veteran of Dieppe wore.

It took them many years, but eventually a clasp was added to the CVSM for the Dieppe vets. I would submit that it meant a lot more to them than the Battle Honour "Dieppe" on Regimental Colours (or Guidon, in the case of the KOCR).


Posts: 43 | From: Calgary, AB | Registered: Jun 2000

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